Andy Murray faces agonising waiting game after ankle injury nightmare

Kevin Palmer
Andy Murray injured his ankle at the Miami Open
Andy Murray injured his ankle at the Miami Open

Andy Murray’s hope of finishing his career in the manner he desires is hanging by a thread after he suffered a serious ankle injury in his defeat against Tomas Machac at the Miami Open on Sunday.

The latest update suggest Murray is playing a waiting game as he will need to allow the swelling on his ankle to subside before he is given a timeline for recovery.

The two-time Wimbledon champion screamed out in pain and fell to the floor late on in his third-round defeat by Tomas Machac at the Miami Open on Sunday after hurting his left ankle.

Murray was able to complete the match after on-court treatment but revealed in an Instagram post on Monday that he had seriously damaged two ligaments and would be out for an “extended period”.

The 36-year-old has now headed home but the PA news agency understands swelling in the joint means Murray must wait before consulting specialists for further assessment.

It is less than 10 weeks until the start of the British grass-court season and just over three months until Wimbledon, where Murray had planned to play for the final time before retirement.

He has also targeted a final Olympic appearance in Paris but all those could depend on whether he needs an operation or if non-surgical measures will suffice.

READ MORE: Emotional Andy Murray makes ‘sad’ confession about his ‘tennis home’ and family after Miami farewell

It is cruel timing for the three-time Grand Slam champion, who had won back-to-back matches for the first time this year in Miami and looked to have turned a corner after a difficult spell where he admitted he was not enjoying tennis.

Having battled for years to recover fully from the hip problems that surfaced in 2017 and resulted in two major operations, Murray previously said he would probably not attempt to come back from another serious injury.

But his Instagram post ended on a typically defiant note, with the former world number one writing: “Yesterday towards the end of my match in Miami I suffered a full rupture of my ATFL (Anterior Talo-Fubular ligament) and near full thickness rupture of my CFL (Calcaneofibular ligament).

“I will see an ankle specialist when I return home to determine next steps. Goes without saying this is a tough one to take and I’ll be out for an extended period. But I’ll be back with 1 hip and no ankle ligaments when the time is right.”

Murray’s fellow players were quick to offer their support on social media, with Emma Raducanu posting two praying emojis.

The good news for Murray must be that the timeline of recovery for the kind of injury he described on his Instagram post is around six weeks for an athlete who can benefit from the kind of specialist treatment he will be undergoing.

The concern must be that the damage to the ankle is worse than initially feared and that can only be assessed when the swelling subsides and scans can uncover what Murray needs to do next.

A best-case scenario would see Murray back on court and building up towards a comeback in June, but he may have a big decision to make on his career end date if the medical reports rule him out of Wimbledon this summer.

Murray will not want to end his magnificent career on this note, but his fans will now be waiting with their hero to find out whether he has stuck the last ball of his professional tennis career.